So, just how bad are the St. Louis Rams? ESPN's NFL Nation Blog Network gathered up all the press reviews following Sunday's season-opening 38-3 loss to Philadelphia.
The short story? The Rams, who host our defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants Sunday, are bad. Really, really bad.
Here are a couple of examples of what the St. Louis area media is saying about the team.
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It took two plays for their first penalty. Four plays for their first injury. Four of the five offensive line starters had false start penalties — before halftime.
They couldn't block. They sure couldn't cover. And boy, they really couldn't convert on third down.
Wait a minute. Wasn't the theme for the 2008 Rams that things would be different this season?
It sure looked a lot like the 3-13 Rams of a year ago, except maybe worse if you can believe that. Sunday's 38-3 loss to Philadelphia was the most lopsided opening-day defeat in 71 years of Rams football.
The 35-point margin of defeat was the worst for the club since Scott Linehan took over as head coach in 2006. It took a 46-yard field goal by Josh Brown with 9 minutes left in the game to avoid the franchise's first opening-day shutout since 1965.
Also from the Post-Dispatch, columnist Bernie Miklasz said it looked like the Rams didn't even try against the Eagles.
I don't understand how a team can prepare for months to play its first football game, only to emerge from the locker room looking like dead men walking.
No heart, no guts, no pulse ... nothing.
"To me, and I've been around here 10 years, and this is the most talented team I've ever been around as far as pure talent," defensive end Leonard Little said. "But we've got to find a way to take it to the field. And show more on the field. We needed to come out and win this game. And we'd better win right away and get on the right track, because we don't want to go down that same road that we took last year."
It was an appalling afternoon for a franchise that went 3-13 last season.
And it didn't take long for negative thoughts to metastasize.
Unless the Rams respond with a passionate statement about their competitiveness on Sunday when the New York Giants come to The Ed, how much longer will head coach Scott Linehan be able to keep his job?
Are the players trying to get Linehan fired?
How else do we interpret the dive we saw them take in Philadelphia?
So, Sunday should be a walk in the park for the Giants. Right? Shouldn't it?
We should all know better. The Giants will win, but this game will be much closer than it should. Just like the season-opener against Washington was much closer on the scoreboard than it should have been.
Even with a Super Bowl championship in their pockets, the Giants never make things easy.